Thursday, 16 August 2012

G****e and Ukulele Chords - The Democratic Linkiness of the Internet

If yesterday's post on Heresy teaches us anything, it is that there is a kind of democracy to the Internet.

I have quoted two links - one in the main post, one in the comments. The pages I link to both seem to  agree on one thing - that Pope Benedict is a heretic. But one author thinks that to be the because Benedict is a Catholic - while the other thinks it because His Holiness is not Catholic enough.

Neither of these people have much genuine authority, of course. But my links will direct you to their sites just as efficiently as if I had sent you to the site of the Vatican, the Baptist Union or Church Mouse (retd). The URLs have equally the same worth, if you will, whatever wisdom or drivel they may be writing.

But a URL will have some relative weight, of course. A Roman Catholic going to the Vatican site will automatically impute value to it, in the same way that an unmarriageable bloke with an anorak gets a warm feeling on arriving at the forum of Richard Dawkins's website.

So why did I choose those links? Because they were the most interesting among others dealing with the subject (and when I say "interesting" I do not say "representative", "rational" or "likely to get you any nearer heaven"). So a certain degree of interest - and controversy - gives these pages weight beyond their value.

And how did I find them? I typed two sets of search terms into G****e. Those terms were "assumption mary heresy" and "separated brethren". It was not I that put them on the front page of the results - it was the inscrutable and ineffable workings-out of the global algorithm that decides the value of everything. And by linking to them, I am aware that I have made matters worse.

Every author of blogs will know that visitor stats are strange things. We write what we believe to be gems of theological profundity and personal insight, which get ignored. We then, in a poorly-judged moment, write some rotten joke which echoes round the world. We cannot control this. We cast bloggy bread on the waters, and wait to see what comes back to us after many days.

You will see, for example - if you use the desktop version of this site - that one of the seven most popular posts we have ever issued has as its subject the Uke Chords for the song on the "Girl on the Platform Smile" advert. This is not the core stuff of this site. We do not lust after that girl and play the ukulele. Well, actually, Burton does. But let's ignore that. The point is - we are into religion, science and a bit of occasional barcoding. G****e has decided we are experts on the subject. G****e runs the world, decides what is authoritive, interesting and important.

Either that, or there's a lot of frustrated blokes out there with ukuleles.

1 comment :

  1. You know what the answer is AE... write your own web crawler, indexer and custom ranking algorithm, when you've done that you can tint our spectacles as much as you like, how hard could it be? ;)


Drop a thoughtful pebble in the comments bowl